Internet on campus: Google dominates U web hits

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

The U is “Googling” more than anything else on campus computers, recent Web hit numbers show.

Students and faculty on campus visited the Google search engine 150,774 times in a single week, making Google the most visited website on U servers. Google’s other services Gmail and Google Maps took third and fourth. came in seventh place, logging 17,841 hits during the week.

Steve Scott, manager in the Office of Information and Technology for Systems and Security, said that by University policy, his office does not track individual users or a particular Web address. Instead they track through network routers looking at the IP addresses.

“We take every effort to ensure peoples’ privacy is respected,” Scott said. “We track for anomalies like an infected computer to get them off of the network.”

The Internet is a staple in student and faculty life on campus. Many classes have computer terminals in them or require online work.

“Sometimes I’ll take a mini-break after a couple of hours of studying for recreation, so I don’t go crazy,” said Hannah Wilson, a junior in anthropology and biology. “A lot of my professors assign online homework. Last year, every class I was in had online assignments, and I just had to take a break from it at times.”

Wilson said that it is common for her to run a search through Google and log into MySpace on a daily basis when she is on campus. Wilson estimates that she spends 20 percent of her time on the computer for recreation and the other 80 percent for school-related work.

The U has about 35,000 unique IP addresses that access the Internet every day using the U servers, according to the Office of Information and Technology. An IP address is a number given to computers and websites that electronic devices use to communicate with one another. As the top 10 Web hits show, people are opting to spend the majority of their time personalizing their space on the Web, visiting YouTube or running an image search through Google Images, looking for whatever interests them.

“I use MySpace just to talk to friends and Yahoo to check my e-mail,” said Ryan Erickson, a sophomore in chemistry. “I do research or any homework I have at home. I just get onto the computers on campus to waste time in between classes.”

Faculty are using the Web to introduce current events, examples to lectures and provide the online course materials for students to follow along in class.

“In one of my classes, I see my students looking up the lecture notes on WebCT before class on their lap tops,” said Suzanne Horsley, a U professor in public relations. “But I’ll walk by, and they’re watching music videos on YouTube, sending e-mails or instant messaging. They’re very good at multi-tasking.”

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